Sally (name changed) was the apple of her father’s eye. Her father, a Vietnam war veteran, was always away when she was growing up. She missed her father, especially on the occasions like her birthday, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Life was going fine, but tragedy struck on her 13th birthday when suddenly she heard that her father was no more. He had committed suicide by hanging himself in his room. She couldn’t reconcile with the fact that her father had struggled silently with a grave mental health condition for years. She had become a survivor of suicide loss and a trauma victim.
Soon, Sally started experiencing symptoms like emotional numbness and intrusive distressing recollections, the indication of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Over a period of time, she had mastered the art of camouflaging the way she felt. But soon, Sally realized she was struggling with depression, which landed her in a mental hospital. It was during the course of her stay in the hospital that Sally learnt something she would never forget for the rest of her life: “Depression is treatable.”
There are many people who do not consider depression as a serious mental illness and rarely seek help from a licensed medical practitioner. But depression is a real illness with devastating symptoms, which needs a proper treatment and support. Depression can strike people at any age, causing different symptoms, such as persistent feeling of hopelessness and sadness, loss of interest in recreational activities, etc.
Depression is the most common mental disorder in the United States. Primarily classified as mild, moderate or severe, depression can be highly difficult to diagnose. Doctors usually decide the course of treatment after understanding the symptoms and performing specific tests on the patient.
Depression is treatable, it shouldn’t be ignored
Depression is a serious mental health condition, which if left untreated may cause devastating consequences. But there is hope as it can be effectively treated by a professional mental health expert. Psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), along with proper medication, are some of the time-tested approaches to treat depression after a careful analysis of the underlying factors.
Some of the effective ways to deal with depression are:
- Getting in touch with a mental health professional or a mental health care provider at the earliest to get the mental condition assessed.
- Contacting the local health department, or community mental health care center for guidance or information about the various options in one’s vicinity.
- Seeking support from the local university medical centers as many of them have special programs for students battling depression and anxiety-related problems.
- Contacting any of the national health groups to get in touch with the neighborhood mental health care professional, besides getting information on various support groups for mental health problems.
A significant number of drug-dependent patients can control their cravings and substantially cut back on heavy drug use by administering FDA-approved medications in combination with psychological and social interventions.
Getting the joy back in your life
While scientists are studying both the existing and potential causes of depression to ensure relevant therapeutic interventions for treating depressed patients, educating people about the possible causes of depression and associated psychological disorders is necessary. Handling mental disorders can be challenging at any age.